|Publication number||US7210525 B2|
|Application number||US 10/727,806|
|Publication date||May 1, 2007|
|Filing date||Dec 4, 2003|
|Priority date||Mar 7, 2003|
|Also published as||CA2421348A1, US7438126, US20040173347, US20070193734|
|Publication number||10727806, 727806, US 7210525 B2, US 7210525B2, US-B2-7210525, US7210525 B2, US7210525B2|
|Inventors||L. Murray Dallas|
|Original Assignee||Stinger Wellhead Protection, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (25), Referenced by (27), Classifications (8), Legal Events (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to equipment for servicing oil and gas wells and, in particular, to an apparatus for controlling a tool having a mandrel or other tubular that must be stroked into or out of a high-pressure well.
Most oil and gas wells eventually require some form of stimulation to enhance hydrocarbon flow in order to make or keep them economically viable. The servicing of oil and gas wells to stimulate production requires the pumping of fluids under high-pressure. The fluids are generally corrosive and abrasive because they are frequently laden with corrosive acids and abrasive propants such as sharp sand.
Wellheads are not designed to accommodate delivery of high-pressure, abrasive fluids into the well. Consequently, isolation tools in various forms and configurations have been invented to protect wellheads during well stimulation processes. As knowledge of well stimulation processes have developed, the importance of high delivery rates for successful and economic stimulation processes has been appreciated. Consequently, it is now Applicant's practice to run large bore mandrels through blowout preventers (BOPs) mounted to a well in order to enhance stimulation effects and reduce job time.
Because of the very nature of the stimulation process, most wells to be stimulated have relatively low natural pressure before the stimulation process commences. There are, however, exceptions which may require high-pressure wells to be stimulated for various reasons. In any event, once stimulated, the well may be under very high-pressure. The high-pressure may result from the use of energized stimulation fluids, well known in the art, or natural pressure developed as a result of opening up a high-pressure area of a production zone.
Consequently, situations exist in which the insertion of mandrels used to safely conduct high-pressure fluid through BOPs and other wellhead components or the removal of such mandrels from the wellhead requires mechanical control that cannot be provided by a service rig or a boom truck. For example, a well stimulated with energized fluid may overbear the weight of the mandrel with attached tools and tubing strings. In such situations, the well must be killed before a mandrel can be safely removed. As is well understood in the art, kill fluids are expensive and killing the well may reverse all or part of the beneficial effects of the stimulation process.
Methods and equipment have been devised for inserting these mandrels for protecting wellhead equipment under high-pressures. Examples of these are taught in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,241,786, 4,867,243 and 6,470,965.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,241,786 issued to Bullen on Dec. 30, 1980, and is entitled WELL TREE SAVER. The apparatus includes a base flange connected to a pair of hydraulic cylinder pistons. Cylinder tops of the hydraulic cylinders are rigidly secured to the mandrel that is supported over top the well, so that motion of the cylinders relative to the pistons induces corresponding motion of the mandrel within the well. As will be evident to those skilled in the art, there is little space available for connecting a single high-pressure stimulation fluid supply line (i.e. a “frac” line) to a high-pressure valve that controls fluid passage through the mandrel, as the cylinders obstruct a substantial portion of a top end of the mandrel, where the high-pressure valve is located. This limited access becomes increasingly problematic when a rig is used parallel with, and proximate the well equipment, as the rig frequently obstructs a substantial part of the mandrel.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,867,243, entitled WELLHEAD ISOLATION TOOL AND SETTING AND METHOD OF USING SAME, which issued to Garner et al. on Sep. 19, 1989, teaches a method of using an apparatus having a single hydraulic cylinder for raising the mandrel from a well under pressure. While meritorious, this apparatus does not permit fluid access to the mandrel. Rather, the mandrel is stroked in, and the apparatus is removed, and then well stimulation equipment is mounted to the mandrel.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,470,965, entitled DEVICE FOR INTRODUCING A HIGH-PRESSURE FLUID INTO WELL HEAD COMPONENTS, issued on Oct. 29, 2002 to Winzer. The device includes two piston cylinders also close to the mandrel, with cylinders that extend above the mandrel top end, and accordingly provide limited access to fracturing lines.
Other devices are known for performing the insertion and removal of a casing mandrel within a well. For example the substitution of the hydraulic cylinders with respective screw jack assemblies is taught in U.S. Pat. No. 4,632,183, entitled INSERTION DRIVE SYSTEM FOR TREE SAVERS, which issued to McLeod on Dec. 30, 1986. The jack assemblies also extend above, and in parallel with, the casing mandrel, obstructing access by the fracturing lines and equipment.
A further problem with current mandrel insertion equipment is that it is a single-purpose device. In general, different equipment is required to lift and land a tubing string, and to perform other like operations (such as a rig or a boom truck, well known in the art) The expense of the single-purpose device makes a higher cost per use of mandrel insertion equipment, and increases the amount and cost of equipment required onsite. Further the alternating use of one lifting/setting device for one function, and then a second lifting/setting device for a next function requires installation and removal of the lifting/setting devices, which adds time and expense to wellhead servicing operations.
Consequently, there exists a need for an apparatus for controlling vertical motion of a tubular within a high-pressure well that provides unobstructed access to a top end of the tubular, and is adapted to permit rotation of the tubular, so that the apparatus can also be used for removing and landing a tubing string, etc.
It is therefore an object of the invention to provide an apparatus for controlling vertical movement of a tubular within a high-pressure well.
It is a another object of the invention to provide an apparatus for controlling vertical movement of either a high-pressure mandrel used for wellhead isolation, a landing joint, or other tubulars, within a high-pressure well, so that the apparatus is adapted to perform a plurality of operations.
It is a further object of the invention to provide an apparatus for controlling vertical movement of a tubular within a high-pressure well while providing unobstructed access to a top end of the tubular.
The invention therefore provides an apparatus for controlling vertical movement of a tubular in a wellbore. The tubular may be a high-pressure mandrel of a well stimulation tool or a wellhead isolation tool, or may be a landing joint. The apparatus includes an anchor spool with a bottom flange for mounting to the top of the high-pressure well in a fluid-tight seal. A top end of the anchor spool supports a high-pressure packing that seals an annulus between the top end and the tubular, while permitting vertical and rotational motion of the tubular. The anchor spool provides an anchor plate having connectors for detachably securing bottom ends of at least two piston cylinders symmetrically disposed about the anchor spool. The piston cylinders are a part of a detachable superstructure, and a tool support structure that has an adapter stack bottom end for secure connection to the tubular. The tubular may be connected directly or via one of a swivel joint, a tool that includes the tubular, and an adapter connected directly or indirectly to the tubular. Accordingly, activation of the piston cylinders causes vertical motion of the tubular within the high-pressure well.
The anchor spool preferably includes an elongated sidewall between the bottom flange and the top end. The elongated sidewall defines a passageway through the anchor spool having a diameter large enough to receive a tubing hanger. The apparatus can therefore be used to remove or land a tubing hanger in a tubing head spool.
The tool support structure includes a control plate that interconnects cylinder ends of the at least two piston cylinders. By providing for connection to the piston cylinders from below, the top side of the control plate is above the piston cylinders. The top side of the control plate includes a universal adapter that is in fluid communication with a fluid passage through the tool support structure. A union adapter in fluid communication with the fluid passage is mounted to a bottom side of the control plate. The union adapter preferably has a bottom end that terminates in a wing union that provides the adapter and permits rapid connection to the tubular.
In accordance with yet another aspect of the invention, a second apparatus for controlling vertical movement of a tubular within a high-pressure well is provided. The second apparatus includes an anchor spool that has a bottom flange for secure, fluid-tight connection atop the high-pressure well, and provides a sealed passageway through which the tubular can be vertically displaced. A tool support structure of the second apparatus includes an adapter stack bottom end for secure connection to the tubular in a same manner as that of the first apparatus. At least two piston cylinders symmetrically disposed about the tubular are secured to a bottom of the tool support structure and to the anchor spool, so that a top end of the tubular can be accessed at an adapter stack top end of the tool support structure.
Further features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in combination with the appended drawings, in which:
The invention provides an apparatus for controlling vertical movement of a tubular that is designed to be inserted into a high-pressure well. The apparatus includes an anchor spool, a tool support structure above the anchor spool, and a plurality of symmetrically disposed piston cylinders interconnecting the two. The tubular may be a landing joint or a high-pressure mandrel of either a well stimulation tool, or a wellhead isolation tool. The apparatus therefore has multiple uses. The apparatus further provides unobstructed access to a top end of the tubular because the piston cylinders are connected to a bottom side of the tool support structure. The piston cylinders are radially distributed to provide a balanced control force to permit installation of a well stimulation tool, or a wellhead isolation tool connected to the tool support structure.
The detachable superstructure 26 includes at least two hydraulic cylinders 28 having ram ends 28 a and cylinder ends 28 b. The ram ends 28 a are detachably connected to the anchor plate 22 by threaded connectors 29, such as wing nuts, well known in the art. The threaded connectors 29 are arrayed symmetrically about the axis of the anchor spool 12. The ram ends 28 a of the hydraulic cylinders 28 are equipped with stabilizers 31 to enlarge a footprint of the ram ends, and therefore provide additional stability between the anchor plate 22 and the hydraulic cylinders 28. The hydraulic cylinders 28 are one example of piston cylinders.
The cylinder ends 28 b of the hydraulic cylinders 28 are rigidly interconnected by a tool support structure that includes a control plate 30. The control plate 30 also supports an adapter stack 32. The adapter stack 32 includes a universal adapter 34 mounted to a top of a union adapter 36. The universal adapter 34 extends above the control plate 30. The union adapter 36 extends below the control plate 30, and supports a wing union 38 used to support a tool adapter 40. A fluid passage 42 through the tool support structure extends through the tool adapter 40, the union adapter 36 and the universal adapter 34. The adapter stack 32 is mounted to the control plate 30 by bolts 44 received in bores through a flange 46 of the union adapter 36.
As shown in
As shown in
If energized fluids are used to stimulate the well or a high-pressure formation is opened up during the stimulation process, pressure in the well may be too high to safely remove the well stimulation tool 60 without the use of the apparatus 10 in accordance with the invention. Consequently, the superstructure 26 is connected to the anchor plate 22 using the threaded connectors 29 and the wing union 38 to connect the union adapter 36 to the tool adapter 40.
As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, wing union 38 permits different tools, such as the landing joint 50 (
The embodiments of the invention described above are intended to be exemplary only. The scope of the invention is therefore intended to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7438126 *||Apr 25, 2007||Oct 21, 2008||Stinger Wellhead Protection, Inc.||Apparatus for controlling a tool having a mandrel that must be stroked into or out of a well|
|US7475721||Feb 26, 2008||Jan 13, 2009||Stinger Wellhead Protection, Inc.||Drilling flange and independent screwed wellhead with metal-to-metal seal and method of use|
|US7578352 *||Oct 12, 2006||Aug 25, 2009||Weatherford/Lamb, Inc.||Controlled shared load casing jack system and method of using|
|US7584797||Apr 4, 2006||Sep 8, 2009||Stinger Wellhead Protection, Inc.||Method of subsurface lubrication to facilitate well completion, re-completion and workover|
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|US7650936||Jan 26, 2010||Stinger Wellhead Protection, Inc.||Drilling flange and independent screwed wellhead with metal-to-metal seal and method of use|
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|US8820400||Sep 8, 2011||Sep 2, 2014||Oil States Energy Services, L.L.C.||Erosion resistant frac head|
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|US20070193734 *||Apr 25, 2007||Aug 23, 2007||Stinger Wellhead Protection, Inc.||Apparatus for controlling a tool having a mandrel that must be stroked into or out of a well|
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|US20070261860 *||Oct 12, 2006||Nov 15, 2007||Hallonquist David J||Controlled shared load casing jack system|
|US20080078558 *||Sep 28, 2006||Apr 3, 2008||Oil States Energy Services, Inc.||Subsurface lubricator and method of use|
|US20080142210 *||Feb 26, 2008||Jun 19, 2008||Stinger Wellhead Protection, Inc.||Drilling Flange and Independent Screwed Wellhead With Metal-to-Metal Seal and Method of Use|
|US20090084538 *||Dec 9, 2008||Apr 2, 2009||Stinger Wellhead Protection, Inc.||Drilling flange and independent screwed wellhead with metal-to-metal seal and method of use|
|US20090145593 *||Dec 5, 2007||Jun 11, 2009||Stinger Wellhead Protection, Inc.||Snubber Spool With Detachable Base Plates|
|US20090236090 *||Mar 20, 2008||Sep 24, 2009||Stinger Wellhead Protection, Inc.||Erosion Resistant Frac Head|
|US20090277627 *||Nov 12, 2009||Stinger Wellhead Protection, Inc.||Subsurface lubricator and method of use|
|US20090277647 *||Nov 12, 2009||Stinger Wellhead Protection, Inc.||Method of subsurface lubrication to facilitate well completion, re-completion and workover|
|US20100122809 *||Jul 31, 2009||May 20, 2010||Robichaux Ron D||Rotating high-pressure pumping head|
|US20100326648 *||Sep 2, 2010||Dec 30, 2010||Stinger Wellhead Protection, Inc.||Erosion resistant frac head|
|US20130192842 *||Jan 31, 2012||Aug 1, 2013||Cudd Pressure Control, Inc.||Method and Apparatus to Perform Subsea or Surface Jacking|
|U.S. Classification||166/77.4, 166/84.1, 166/77.51, 166/85.1|
|International Classification||E21B33/03, E21B33/068|
|Jun 24, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: HWCES INTERNATIONAL, TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:DALLAS, L. MURRAY;REEL/FRAME:016712/0677
Effective date: 20050501
|Mar 9, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: HWC ENERGY SERVICES, INC., TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HWCES INTERNATIONAL;REEL/FRAME:017636/0559
Effective date: 20060228
|Jun 2, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: OIL STATES ENERGY SERVICES, INC, TEXAS
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:HWC ENERGY SERVICE, INC.;REEL/FRAME:017957/0310
Effective date: 20060309
|Dec 21, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: STINGER WELLHEAD PROTECTION, INC., TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:OIL STATES ENERGY SERVICES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:018767/0230
Effective date: 20061219
|Jul 19, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: STINGER WELLHEAD PROTECTION, INC., OKLAHOMA
Free format text: CHANGE OF ASSIGNEE ADDRESS;ASSIGNOR:STINGER WELLHEAD PROTECTION, INC.;REEL/FRAME:019588/0172
Effective date: 20070716
Owner name: STINGER WELLHEAD PROTECTION, INC.,OKLAHOMA
Free format text: CHANGE OF ASSIGNEE ADDRESS;ASSIGNOR:STINGER WELLHEAD PROTECTION, INC.;REEL/FRAME:019588/0172
Effective date: 20070716
|Apr 22, 2008||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Oct 20, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Oct 15, 2012||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: OIL STATES ENERGY SERVICES, L.L.C., TEXAS
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:STINGER WELLHEAD PROTECTION, INCORPORATED;REEL/FRAME:029131/0638
Effective date: 20111231
|Oct 23, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8